Germany: Burda completes redesign of Focus.de

As the tradition almost commands, the major European news sites always use the quieter summer month to retool their homepage.  Indeed, Burda just completed the latest redesign of its news flagship Focus Online

The most important change was made to the layout of the Focus.de  homepage.  It’s now slightly significantly wider and major new appear directly in the middle of the screen. With the previous version, the latest news were being displayed on the left side.

Top of the homepage
The Focus.de homepage’s header menu now carries across the entire width of the page. Also, in comparison to the previous version of the site, the main story has been given a much greater visibility on the page with oversized header and pictures.  The white background has been pushed up but remains there, making the overall look of the page clearer and less busy. It is also easier to spot key stories of the day.

Below the fold
Another evolution is the layout “by box” that’s been chosen to define the Focus.de homepage’s structure, therefore enabling web editors to update only one box at the time.  Each box is dedicated to an editorial topic.

The redesign team led by Oliver Ebert is especially proud of the “24-hour newsticker”.  The beloved feature  – according to the official press release -should be further developed to become an even “more flexible and easier tool to search for news on the site.”  The “Thema verfolgen” (follow this theme) button is also an interesting addition to the site. 

The revamped 24-hour newsticker
The relaunch of the Focus.de site comes at a crucial point for the German newsweekly, just 3 weeks after new editorial honcho Wolfram Weimer took over the print edition. The old boss, Helmut Marktwort, had already done some changes to the book this past spring before departing.  The new inputs from the print magazine should also bring new traffic and interest to its online companion site.  In a recent interview to the German trade publication MEEDIA, the Focus Online boss Jochen Wegner explained: “We have of course always asked the new editor in chief for its feedback on the latest online incarnation of the site.  Both editorial offices exchange constantly.  Both media are being developed in the same direction.”

The same unfortunately can’t be said about their respective audience. While Focus magazine’s circulation is down 12% over the last six months, the number of visits to Focus.de were up 14% in June. The news-portal had a total of 162 million clicks and 29,2 million visits that month.

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